May 29, 2024

The Scoop India

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Hindu community of South Africa saved due to Arya Samaj

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If we look at it, the teachings of Maharishi Dayanand Saraswati came from the Indian territory and reached South Africa in the beginning of the 20th century. The first Arya Samajist to go to South Africa was Bhai Parmanand, who arrived in 1905. During his four-month stay, he visited Johannesburg, Pretoria and Cape Town. He was a proficient speaker of both English and Hindi. He gave speeches on Hindu culture, religion, Indian civilization, faith in God, his celebrations, mother tongue Hindi and importance of education. He emphasized the importance of their festivals and since then Diwali has come to be recognized as a Hindu festival.

Established grassroots Arya Samaj committees to strengthen Hinduism among Indians and worked to bring various Hindu groups on one platform and taught Indians to be proud of their culture and heritage and worked for social reform and spread of education. Did the work of.

Actually, before the year 1908, people of Hindu community in Africa did not have the right to celebrate Diwali. You will be surprised to hear that at that time the biggest festival celebrated by the Hindu community of Africa was Tajiya. During Muharram, Hindu community used to take out Tajiya procession. Seeing this, Arya Samaj scholar Swami Shankaranand, who reached there, was very disappointed and his heart was filled with sorrow that today, forgetting his own festivals, the biggest festival of Hindus has become Tajiya.

Swamiji decided to raise the consciousness of the people and in April 1910, Swamiji organized a chariot procession through the streets of Durban to celebrate the birth of Maryada Purushottam Sri Ramachandra. Crowd gathered Swami took advantage of this opportunity to explain to the people the true significance of their festivals.

Swamiji’s hard work bore fruit and as a result Diwali was established as the main festival of Hindus. Urged Hindus to be proud of their Vedic religion and emphasized religious lectures, rites and study of Indian local languages. He succeeded in re-establishing the Vedic culture with festivals associated with the birth of Shri Ram and important dates of Yogiraj Krishna in the Hindu calendar.

He also established Ved Dharma Sabha in Durban and Petersburg. He highlighted the deep respect Hindus have for the cow and fought to stop cow slaughter. Swami achieved a major victory in enhancing Hindu consciousness and unity of purpose.

People found their way and gradually local workers started emerging, one of these Arya workers was Pandit Bhavani Dayal who returned from India in 1912 at the age of twenty. He propagated Vedic religion and started the promotion of Hindi in South Africa. He and his wife were also involved in Gandhi’s Satyagraha and both were imprisoned by the British. But as soon as he was released in 1916, he organized a Hindi literary conference and got two local Hindi speaking newspapers published in Africa.

Another preacher, Swami Mangalanand Puri, went to Natal Brazil in 1913. He gave lectures under the Arya Yuvak Sabha and during his stay, he attracted many young men to join the Arya Samaj. By the beginning of the 1920s, many Arya Samaj had been established in African countries.

After this, it seemed as if the wave of Arya Samaj had spread on African lands. During the same time, a big grand building was constructed by Arya Samaj in Uganda by Pandit Purnanand. Professor Ralmam Hoshiarpur of DAV College reached Africa in 1931 from Punjab and gave lectures on Vedic religion. This was followed in 1934 by the Aryan scholar Pandit Anand Priyaji, who arrived with a group of girl guides from Arya Kanya Mahavidyalaya, Baroda, India, and demonstrated physical strength, sang national and religious songs and taught the Vedic scriptures through his forceful oratory speeches. Spread the teachings of religion.

In 1937, Professor Yashpal demonstrated the powers of yoga. Pandit Rishiram visited South Africa in 1937 and 1945 and gave teachings based on the Vedas, Upanishads and Geeta.

At that time the Uganda Arya Samaj was the most active society in East Africa. Impressed by the work of Arya Samaj, Kalidas Mehta ji built and gifted a huge grand building as Arya Vidyalaya in Kampala, Uganda. But these great activities of Arya Samaj were crushed by the religious vision of Ugandan military dictator Idi Amin in the 70s. As soon as he ascended the throne, he ordered all people of Indian origin to leave Uganda and ended the work of Arya Samaj.

Thousands of people of Asian origin who held views different from Islam, including a large Hindu community in India, were deported, their property was confiscated and distributed among their friends. When the world community took notice of this incident, the entire Muslim countries had said in one voice that only those who believe in Islam can live among Islam.

Time passed, after the destruction of Idi Amin’s religious power that lasted almost a decade, the work of Arya Samaj has started again a few years ago. Today the Arya Samaj is working at its full speed there. The O3M flag flying over the Arya Samaj and Arya educational institutions fills the mind with a feeling of immense pride towards the Arya Samaj that not only the Indian subcontinent is indebted to the Arya Samaj. In fact, what a great favor Arya Samaj has to the Hindus settled outside India.

BY-Rajeev Choudhary

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